Colorado teens tell legislature about pot’s impact

Walking down the hallway, it would be hard to find a kid who hasn’t smoked marijuana at least once.

Testimony like that, from a Boulder high school student, sent a sobering message in August to a legislative committee exploring the costs and benefits of legalized marijuana in Colorado.

Other high school students highlighted related concerns, including:

  • Dispensaries are too close to schools.
  • Marijuana edibles look like “everyday snacks”.
  • Pot’s impact on the adolescent brain interferes with learning.

This is the stark reality facing Colorado teens as they grapple with marijuana commercialization. It’s vital that we listen to our state’s youth about this growing challenge. Hear these testimonies and more on our Voices of the Community page.

State launches youth prevention ads

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 2.19.21 PMA new advertising campaign from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment focuses on the important role parents can play in keeping kids from using marijuana.

“Talk to your kids about marijuana so you can help them keep it from getting in their way,” urge the ads, which point them to the state agency’s Good to Know website, which also offers tips for teachers, coaches, and other family members.

The truth about pot taxes

Marijuana taxes are the fix for Colorado’s budget problems, right? Wrong.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 2.19.38 PMAs the Colorado Fiscal Institute explains in The Denver Post, pot taxes represent just a drop in the Colorado budget bucket.  And much of these funds go to fund marijuana education, treatment, regulation and enforcement programs.

Most Colorado schools won’t get a penny.

“So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana,” writes Dr. Harry Bull, Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools.

Smart Colorado highlights high-potency pot on CNN

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson supports liberalized drug laws. But, in a CNN forum featuring Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, Smart Colorado co-founder Diane Carlson drew national attention to the perils of high-potency pot and the confusion and continued lack of information and education around its harms for today’s youth.

Carlson’s comments, which start at 29:48 of the video link above, highlighted to a national audience the “high THC pot that has become the norm in Colorado” and how it is fundamentally different from the low- to no-THC marijuana that has helped kids with seizures and adults with pain.

Pueblo pot industry faces citizen backlash

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 2.19.48 PM

“Is Pueblo going to pot? That’s a common question among residents of Pueblo County,” notes a citizens group, Pueblo for a Positive Impact. “The answer to that question is . . . not if we can help it!”

Another group, Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo, is supporting ballot issues that would prohibit retail marijuana. 

“We are all in agreement that we need to prioritize protecting the health and safety of our community and not the marijuana industry,” says the group’s leader, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. 

Not surprisingly, high school pot use is especially high in Pueblo County, where pot commercialization is widespread.

Latest data shows disturbing trends

Did you know Colorado has the dubious distinction of ranking first in the nation for recent youth pot use? And that  Emergency Department rates likely related to marijuana increased 49 percent since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana?

Find this data and much more, including a spike in marijuana-related traffic deaths, in a comprehensive new report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. 

Help Smart Colorado meet its funding challenge

Smart Colorado is the only nonprofit organization specifically focused on protecting Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly commercialized.

If you believe in our mission, please support our work.

Please contribute online today.

Smart Colorado is a 501c(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized. Smart Colorado is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.

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